Radcliffe Comes Up Short in Top Races
For Radcliffe heavyweight crew, frustration is not a familiar feeling. But this season, it has been nothing but frustration for the Black and White (1-5), despite being ranked 20th in this week’s US Rowing Polls.
The heavyweights left the friendly waters of the Charles and headed to the Housatonic River last Saturday to take on Yale in the Case Cup. The struggles continued for Radcliffe, as the Bulldogs swept all five races.
Meanwhile, the lightweights (3-2) traveled to Princeton, N.J. for a showdown against No. 3 Princeton and No. 5 Bucknell in the Class of 1999 Cup. The Black and While had strong showings against its competition, beating Bucknell comfortably and coming up just short against the Tigers.
HEAVYWEIGHTS VS. YALE
The heavyweight squad entered the race against its Ivy rivals hoping for a chance to salvage what has been a disappointing season so far.
Unfortunately, the Black and White got more of the same this past weekend, as the fourth-ranked Bulldogs took advantage of perfect rowing conditions on the Housatonic to defeat Radcliffe in all five races.
“This weekend was not as successful as I hoped it would be,” said Black and White coach Liz O’Leary. “I thought that everybody raced hard, but we just came up a lot shorter than Yale.”
In the varsity eight race, the Bulldog crew established its rhythm early on and never looked back, rowing across the finish line a comfortable 18 seconds before Radcliffe. Yale finished in an astounding 6:01.6, while the Black and White finished in 6:19.9.
“For Yale to finish in 6:01, you need to have fast conditions and a fast boat,” O’Leary said. “[6:01]’s a time you’d see at the World Championships.”
The second varsity kept things close with its Bulldog counterparts the entire race, finishing just one-fifth of a second behind Yale at 6:20.4. The outcome of the race was ultimately decided in the last 500 meters, as the Bulldogs finished especially strong to take the win.
“It was a back-and-forth race, and really exciting to watch and to be in,” O’Leary said. “I was really proud of them [to come that close].”
In the varsity four A, varsity four B, and third varsity eight races, Yale defeated Radcliffe by 5.7 seconds, 5.2 seconds, and 14 seconds, respectively.
Though the season has been trying, the Black and White rowers have remained relentless in their efforts to improve with each coming week.
“They’re really working hard and staying really committed to the team,” O’Leary said. “I think what you have to look at is not just the results. You also have to look at improvements that you’ve made and goals that you’ve achieved that don’t always show up at the finish line. We have pretty lofty goals for ourselves; if we don’t set goals that are pretty challenging, then what’s the point [of rowing]?”
LIGHTWEIGHTS VS. NO. 3 PRINCETON/NO. 5 BUCKNELL